Washington Nationals minor league pitcher Shairon Martis threw a seven-inning no-hitter for the Harrisburg Senators Friday night, beating New Hampshire 3-0. Martis walked one and struck out nine in the process.
|C.Nichols/Nats News Network|
Nats fans may -- or may not -- remember Martis from the summers of 2008 and 2009. The Curacao native, who threw a no-hitter for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in 2006, was promoted way ahead of schedule when he made 5 and 15 appearances for the Nats big club, at the tender ages of 21 and 22.
He had moments of quality, including a complete game 6-1 win over St. Louis where he gave up five hits and no walks, striking out six. But for the most part got roughed up. In 20 MLB games, Martis pitched to a 5.33 ERA and 1.429 WHIP, walking 4.3 per nine innings and striking out just 4.8 per nine. Not very inspiring.
In 2010, at 23 years of age, he went 8-7 with Triple-A Syracuse with a 4.09 ERA and 1.421 WHIP. Still not very impressive.
Sent down a level this season, he's done nothing but dominate Double-A at 24, going 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.256 WHIP, striking out 10.0 per nine innings and walking just 2.8 per nine. Those are dominant numbers. He may be just a bit old for Double-A, but he's only 10 months older than Brad Peacock and one month younger than Tom Milone, two minor leaguers that have pitched to rave reviews and are expected to be recalled when rosters expand Sept. 1.
Maybe Martis has discovered a pitch he hadn't thrown before. Maybe he just needed to pitch professionally for few years to "find" himself. Maybe he was stunted by being rushed to the bigs. Maybe it's just a guy having his career year at 24 years of age in Double-A.
But his numbers are just as good as two of the prospect the Nats are pushing to the Major League roster next week. Maybe it's time to take a second look at Martis, a player that was obviously rushed to the Majors in '08 and '09.